I have a 10 year old son. He has an active mind that needs to be filled with ideas. If you find yourself needing to both help your child’s mind and also take a little break from constant surveillance, you should know about the following channels on YouTube. All this content is free, which continues to blow my mind. Many of these channels you will already be familiar with, but all deserve additional exposure.

There is no particular order to this list. I watch all of these channels myself even without my son.

  • Curious Droid: Mostly about historical aeronautics, but every episode is great. And dig Paul Shillito’s crazy shirts!
  • Crash Course: Crash Course is a production of John and Hank Green and covers the gamut of liberal arts subject, but there is a lot of science and engineering to be found here. Great introductions to complicated topics that never talk down to the viewer.
  • Kurzgesagt: Come for the content, stay for the animations. It’s science explained with an opinion. Some episodes, like Is Meat Bad?, will make you groan. Still, I have watched every episode and look forward to more.
  • SciShow: The second of the Vlog Brothers channels on this list, SciShow is another channel of which I try to watch every episode. All are short nuggets of information about what’s going on with science today
  • CPG Grey: Fast talking stick figures drop tons of esoteric knowledge you didn’t know you needed. How to become Pope? What does the US-Canada look like and why? What a field trip to a decommissioned missile testing range? Grey makes all of these intellectual inquiries charming.
  • Science Asylum: If you can’t trust a guy named Nick Lucid to explain physics, you have a lot of trust issues, bro. In particular, Lucid’s scale model of the solar system should help your child understand stellar distances of our local solar system.
  • Dr. Becky: Astrophysicist from Oxford, Dr. Smethurst breaks down some of the complexity of astronomy today. If you are not already excited about what’s going on with astronomy today, hold on to your hat.
  • FermiLab: From the famous particle science research center FermiLab, Dr. Don Lincoln does deep dives into topics like quantum physics, fusion, and just about anything else needed to write a good sci-fi story. Check this channel out.
  • Khan Academy: The most explicitly pedagogical of all the channels listed here, Khan Academy tends to explore math basics, algebra, trigonometry, geometry, and even some calculus. Great content for those new to the subjects or those needed a gentle reminder.

In a perfect world, all of these creators would be supported by public funds for each provides extraordinary public benefit. However, just watching these videos and subscribing to their channels does benefit the creators and helps YouTube’s AI find similar content for you.